One Hundred Names for Love

One Hundred Names for Love

A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing

Book - 2011
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Everyone who cherishes the gift of language will cherish Diane Ackerman's narrative masterpiece, an exquisitely written love story and medical miracle story, one that combines science, inspiration, wisdom, and heart.

One day Ackerman's husband, Paul West, an exceptionally gifted wordsmith and intellectual, suffered a terrible stroke. When he regained awareness he was afflicted with aphasia--loss of language--and could utter only a single syllable: "mem." The standard therapies yielded little result but frustration. Diane soon found, however, that by harnessing their deep knowledge of each other and her scientific understanding of language and the brain she could guide Paul back to the world of words. This triumphant book is both a humane and revealing addition to the medical literature on stroke and aphasia and an exquisitely written love story: a magnificent addition to literature, period.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393072419
Branch Call Number: 616.81 ACK 2011 22
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 25 cm

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adoranti
Jan 12, 2012

Read about 2/3 of the way through this book. It got repetative and I just couldn't make it through. Unless you really care about the subject, skip it.

Cdnbookworm Aug 07, 2011

The book is told over time beginning with Ackerman's partner, Paul West, having a massive stroke that resulted in global aphasia. That means he lost his language skills. He couldn't talk, or read, or understand. It begins in the hospital with evaluation and treatment. At first Paul can only say "mem" which he says over and over. He has some physical challenges as well in moving his body, relearning how to walk steadily, sit down, get into bed and hold objects. Two fingers on his right hand are cramped up into a claw.
Despite the massive brain damage, Ackerman and West refuse to give up. Ackerman details their daily life once West moves home, how they adjust their routine, how Ackerman must change her relationship with him, and what therapies they use are.
This is indeed a story of love. Because of Paul's long relationship with language as a writer, language is one of the main tools they use in their therapy. Ackerman is totally open and honest in this book, sharing her doubts, joys, and innermost feelings. A wonderful book with insights into the mysteries of healing.

debwalker Mar 30, 2011

A memoir that explores the process of healing after a stroke.

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